At Valentino, a Intelligent Marriage of Minimalism and Maximalism
Lead PictureCourtesy of Valentino
After I met Pierpaolo Piccioli in July, round his Autumn/Winter Valentino couture present, we wound up speaking about minimalism. Minimalism chez Valentino is sort of a contradiction in phrases: Valentino occupies a baroque palazzo the place each ceiling is a frescoed mini-masterpiece, and Piccioli’s garments aren’t identified for being quiet or stripped again. He’s somewhat extra more likely to create a gargantuan robe of satsuma taffeta or leopard lamé, or a costume smothered with a couple of thousand sizzling magenta feathers. However Piccioli was speaking in regards to the minimalism of a glance solely embroidered with crystals and pearls, a sheath costume and matching boots, the mannequin herself then smothered by Dame Pat McGrath in matching glitter. There was a minimalism, Piccioli reasoned, within the monochrome. I may see what he meant. Little did I do know, he was hinting at what was to return for his Spring/Summer time 2023 ready-to-wear assortment.
Piccioli’s Valentino is attention-grabbing due to a strategy of what he calls ‘resignification’. Which is, taking emblems and concepts that we predict are fastened – usually about Valentino, however they may very well be about something, actually – and giving them a brand new worth or which means. How about the truth that Valentino’s well-known crimson, in Piccioli’s arms, can tackle a number of hues, from near-pink to a deep beet burgundy? How about taking Valentino’s candy, delicate roses and giving them a savage grace, an influence and affect, an virtually violent power? And how about making minimalism as maximal as attainable, smothering fashions in sequins and feathers and crystals however, by some means, not dropping sight of the purpose? Which is to cut back, to strip again and to simplify? You bought that concept, by some means, from the Valentino Spring/Summer time 2023 present.
‘Pureness’ was the phrase Piccioli selected, and explored in a large number of the way. There’s the pureness of a white shirt, proven in a triptych of appears after which exaggerated, smothered with ostrich feathers (for guys) or prolonged into robes of crimson or black silk faille, shrugged off the neck and sweeping the ground. He additionally stripped again the notion of the robe itself, utilizing the sort of flesh-colour mesh supplies usually utilised to assemble the corseted interiors lining couture attire, right here uncovered, the intimate underpinnings celebrated. Stripping again virtually to reveal flesh, however not fairly. It lightened the shapes, and the spiring – material flowed simply. And the colors, after all, have been superb – the Valentino Pink PP of final season was seen solely within the viewers, however this time there have been glistening poison greens, cerulean, lilac and vibrant yellow, alongside loads of Valentino crimson, after all. And taking the concept of loving the pores and skin you’re in to a brand new degree, the Valentino ‘V’ emblem was tattooed on fashions’ uncovered pores and skin, fusing girls with their attire. The overriding focus grew to become on a silhouette, on a boxing determine, enigmatic and interesting.
There’s one thing intelligent there, on this concept of stripping away to the minimal but making a maximal affect. ‘Unboxing’ was the phrase Piccioli used – which means a elimination of constraints and bounds, and considering outdoors your consolation zone. Minimalism – even on this somewhat maximalist kind – is properly outdoors the field for Valentino, and for Piccioli, you can argue. And after a wonderful high fashion present of extravagance, exuberance and loads of embroidery on the Spanish Steps of Rome, a brand new slant on simplicity was exactly the palette cleanser ordered. “It’s subtraction, not absence,” Piccioli stated. Or, to parrot a well-worn phrase, perhaps much less actually will be extra.